Lima, Peru – The Peruvian president, Martn Vizcarra, announced on Tuesday (28/7) a plan to create a million jobs and the delivery of a second aid of 220 dollars for families in situations of vulnerability due to the pandemic.
“Reactivation is a national objective, there is no health without an economy,” said the president at a solemn session on Independence Day, in a low-traffic congress, with most lawmakers participating virtually.
Vizcarra said the new program “Arranca Per” (Acelera Peru) will generate a million jobs and start in August, but gave no details.
In addition, it announced “the approval of a second aid of 760 soles (…) between August and October”. “We will serve all the vulnerable families in the country,” he added.
A first bond of 760 soles for 6.8 million families who were left without income due to the pandemic was delivered in May.
Peru started a gradual deflation on July 1, after three and a half months of mandatory national quarantine, seeking to reactivate its economy.
The prolonged confinement was a blow to the economy of a country that, before the pandemic, was growing above the Latin American average: GDP fell 17% in the first five months of the year and more than 2.6 million jobs were lost, according to official figures.
The Andean country is the third in Latin America in cases of coronavirus (389,717) and deaths (18,418), behind Brazil and Mexico.
“Today I can say, with the utmost certainty and conviction, that the quarantine saved many lives,” said Vizcarra.
The president also announced an increase in public investment in health and the construction of two metro lines in Lima, a city of 10 million inhabitants, famous for the chaos in traffic. Currently, there is only one metro line in operation and a second one under construction.
Political analyst Luis Benavente said that Vizcarra’s annual message was “very commemorative” and that he did not recognize any mistakes in facing the pandemic.
“I think that with a little bit of political humility, he should have recognized some things (which did not work well). There is a responsibility that lies with the government” due to the high number of infections and deaths, said the AFP analyst.
Vizcarra, 57, ends his term on July 28, 2021, the day on which Peru’s bicentenary is celebrated.
He took power in March 2018, after the resignation of Pedro Pablo Kuczyn